LITTLE ROCK, AR -- The kids are headed into a new school year, and it’s a great opportunity to enhance their dental health with a back to school checkup. Dr. Bryan Dunlap has tips on making a tooth exam part of your back to school routine.
The dentist should be on your “check” list Many parents get physical exams and hearing and eye tests for their kids at the start of each new school year; a dentist visit should be on that schedule too. In fact, according to the American Dental Association, dental exams are as important to kids as getting booster shots.
Tooth pain goes beyond the mouth Over half of all children between the ages of 5 and 9 have at least one cavity or filling. If your child has a cavity and the pain that comes with it, they’ll also have a tough time eating, speaking and even focusing on classroom activities or homework—and often their teachers don’t recognize what’s going on. They may also miss school and become depressed or fatigued. Your dentist can help. Kids are prone to tooth trauma It’s common to see children who have dental injuries. If your child’s play style is rough and tumble, getting a mouth guard is a great preventive step. They’re available at most sporting goods store or have your dentist fit your child with a custom mouth guard. Prevention is elementary Taking your child to the dentist on a regular basis serves several purposes—it helps the dentist take preventive steps, like applying a dental sealant, against tooth decay; it will help ease your child’s apprehensions about visiting the dentist; and it reveals issues that can be treated early, when damage can be fixed and painful or chronic conditions avoided.